116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Seven people died in five car crashes in roads across the state over the long July 4 weekend, according to the Iowa State Patrol.
The patrol responded to 36 crashes during the weekend, five of which were fatal and six of which caused injuries, according to a tweet from the department. Crash reports show that in one of the five fatal crashes, three people were killed.
Patrol officers also pulled over 4,096 people during the weekend, made 33 felony arrests and handed out 2,134 speeding tickets. Others infractions included commercial vehicle violations, not using seat belt and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The first fatal crash of the weekend happened Friday morning in Dubuque County. A 2014 Chevrolet Camaro being driven by William Wodrich IV, 18, of Dubuque, was traveling at a high rate of speed when the car lost control and rolled, according to a crash report. Wodrich and his two 17-year-old passengers, Kennedy Elskamp and Chloe Madison, both of Dubuque, were killed.
The next crash occurred Friday night or Saturday morning in Mills County, according to a crash report. A 2002 BMW being driven by Dane Carlson, 28, of Plattsmouth, Neb., drove off the road and into a ditch. A passerby noticed the car in the ditch around 6 a.m. Saturday. Carlson died at the scene and a passenger, Steven Elliot, 33, also of Plattsmouth, was injured and transported to a hospital.
At about 8 a.m. Saturday, Jory Lanken, 32, of Kamara, was driving in Hamilton County when he failed to stop for a stop sign. The 2006 Pontiac G6 he was driving entered a ditch and went airborne, then crashed through the front window of a house, killing Lanken.
On Sunday there was a fatal crash in Winnebago County involving a 1995 Toyota pickup being driven by Troy Vaudt, 42, of Buffalo Center. Vaudt failed to negotiate a turn. The truck rolled several times before stopping on top of Vaudt, who was killed.
The last fatal crash happened Monday near 1 p.m. in Lee County. Giang Nguyen, 58, of Anderson, Ind., drove a 2003 Dodge Caravan off the road and onto a gravel shoulder. He overcorrected and crossed both lanes, then entered a ditch on the other side of the road, causing the car to go airborne and roll. Nguyen was killed.
As of Thursday, Iowa was up seven traffic fatalities so far this year compared with the same period last year. There have been 159 fatalities in so far in 2022 — 11 of them in the first week of July, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation.
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